Have you been more aware of your
breathing this week?
Last week we discussed how breathing can
improve your health and your fitness. As
promised, today we are going to dive into
specific breathing techniques for exercise.
During daily activities, breathing doesn’t
require much conscious thought. You need
oxygen so you inhale, you need to get rid of
carbon dioxide so you exhale. During
exercise, your working muscles require
more oxygen and produce more carbon
dioxide waste as a result. An efficient
breathing pattern will allow this exchange
to occur with greater ease, less stress on
your body, and produce improved
Without further ado. . here are the things
to consider while breathing during exercise.
1. When strength training. . .
Inhale on the less strenuous phase of the
exercise, and exhale on the more
demanding phase of the exercise – the
push, pull, or lift. During the inhale, allow
your stomach to expand and then pull in
toward your spine during the exhale. This
allows improved stability in your spine to
prevent back injury when lifting heavy
2. When endurance training . . .
Make a conscious effort to keep your
breathing both deep and relaxed. Master
the art during your warm up and try to
maintain this as long as possible as you
increase intensity. In addition, some
experts suggest that instead of breathing
in an even pattern, you should inhale for
three seconds and then exhale for two.
3. When stretching. . .
Focus on inhaling deeply since you are
trying to “loosen up” the muscles. This type
of deep diaphragmatic breathing relaxes
your muscles so you can get a better stretch
and lower your risk of pulling a muscle.
Ideally, you will inhale through the nose and
exhale through the mouth. On every exhale,
try to relax more fully or give into the stretch
a little further. Fill your stomach with air,
and exhale fully before taking another breath.
The theory behind breathing during exercise
is to get as much oxygen and blood to your
working muscles as possible. You enhance
your potential and your performance during
each set, run, or yoga pose.
Proper breathing is where strength is
enhanced, new PR’s happen, performance is
improved and utmost potential can be
realized. Sometimes it is the littlest things
that make the biggest difference.